Pluto Platter and Le Sac Tragique

I thought that I would keep myself limited to only one blog a day – no point in over gilding the lily or over filling the rubbish bin etc – but the shock of learning that the maker of that wondrous tool of child and adulthood fun has handed in his dinner pail has brought me right back to my non-existent audience. That and the fact that this afternoon is dragging leaves me with that rare combo of inspiration and time…

Clearly this is no scoop. Fred snuffed it about 9 days ago, and the Beeb is clearly using the slow news day of a Friday to generate interest. Dash it, another unknown and unsung hero until their death has cashed his chips, hopped on his Pluto Platter and hovered on his way to that great big gig in the sky. I am sure that someone else who had invented some wondrous part of my childhood and current life had died as well recently…I cannot think who though, for I am paralysed with the thought of:

Who will be next?

My money is on the inventor of the humble hacky sac, should he have not made the journey already. And this is a very real fear for me, for I love that little sack full of beans or sand. It has truly been one of those tools of social glue that one chances upon late in life and then never truly forgets.

My first encounter with le sac tragique (so named by a chum who regarded our attempts at playing as feeble at best) was on an autumn eve, where our playing numbers grew from three to four when the lure of the sac drew in a Korean tourist. As I learned that night, hacky sac transcends all known language barriers and we parted as friends to all the world, despite our appalling lack of skills.

Fast forward a number of years, where despite irregular play, my skills had improved somewhat, and I was able to experience what will undoubtedly be the largest love fest of the hacky of my life. It all tumbled out in some obscure Western Ukrainian train station, somewhere close to the Tatras. It was during that joyous summer following the Orange Revolution, and intrigued I had volunteered to teach at, as I was to discover, a militant Ukrainian Greek Catholic University language school, featuring big bearded orthodox priests, seminarians desperate for a wife and a bunch of others who I will not take the time to describe here.

Anyway back to my sac.

As I was wont to do back then during times of idleness, and we were idle for we were waiting for our buses to take us to some old Iron Curtain era spa retreat for good members of the party (Smerichka was its name), I pulled out my sac. The revealing of my sac initially only caused a little interest, but soon this cascaded into having a large circle of about 30 odd teachers, students and seminarians piff paffing away with my wrinkled old sac, all in various states of glee and excitement. Thinking back to it now brings a tear to my eye…especially as that sac is now no more…

Still this should be a piece on Frisbees – requiescat in pace Fred.

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5 responses to “Pluto Platter and Le Sac Tragique

  1. What about the inventor of the space hopper, is he/she alive still? If he/she is still alive, he/she is surely a prime candidate for next death?

  2. Je ne me souviens pas le sac tragique in Smerichka. I was likely busy sitting on the ground somewhere, being scolded and warned of impending pneumonia…

    I want to hear more of this militant English summer school…and perhaps of the British lad with the accent who won over the hearts of a hundred blue-eyed, high-cheekboned lasses…

    • Am fairly sure that they were not all blue eyed…some surely had green and others brown!

      I fear I may disappoint with a lack of such reminiscences…as though there was plenty of beer (Lvivski and Obolon – yum yum) distinct lack of bicycles. However having said that I am sure little vignettes will crop up along the way (assuming I keep on writing!)

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